How do IR35 changes affect creative freelancers? (Q&A)

You may have heard that the government is changing the way that organisations determine the status of people they might hire to work for them – people like freelancers and contractors.

This is commonly called the IR35 or ‘intermediaries’ legislation.


Posted on 13 January 2020

Election 2019 – Tax implications for freelancers – UPDATED

[Updated on 16 December 2019, after the election results.]

This blog was put together to look at the implications of the main UK-wide party manifestos for freelancers, small companies and other tax payers.

The video explainer below shows aspects of the three manifestos. I thought I’d leave it there, even though we now know it’s the Conservatives who won – big time.

In fact the Conservative manifesto was the one with the least detail. (Some would argue this is why they won.) But we can expect a Budget announcement from the Chancellor of the Exchequer in February 2020. I will post again to highlight details as they emerge.

Of course the one thing that will happen is that we will leave the EU at the end of January 2020. We will then enter a ‘transition period’, initially set to run out at the end of December 2020.

Nothing changes in terms of movement of goods, rules about freedom of movement, and working, etc, until the end of the transition period.

For more on the implications of Brexit for freelancers, see my earlier blog.

Remember this video explainer covers all of the UK except Scotland, which has had its own income tax system for a couple of years now.

Problems seeing the video on Vimeo? Try here on YouTube >


Posted on 01 December 2019

Do freelancers need to ‘get ready for Brexit’?

Border check

Update November 2019: You can watch my 20 minute presentation about no-deal Brexit and freelancers courtesy of AudioUK – recorded 25 October 2019:
David’s presentation on Vimeo >

Have you got ready for Brexit yet?  Nope – me neither. Because no one knows (at time of writing) what Brexit will look like.

However, there are some things you should think about in preparation for ‘getting ready for Brexit’. Some of it won’t cost any money, and will mean you are less likely to be caught on the hop if and when we leave the EU. 

This will be particularly important if we leave in a sudden ‘crash out’, no-deal, WTO-type scenario. [Update 16 Dec 19: this could still happen at the end of December 2020.]


Posted on 25 October 2019

Simplifying tax for freelancers and SMEs

Image pound sign

You could be forgiven for thinking the government is only interested in Brexit and leadership contests at the moment.

But there are other things going on behind the scenes.


Posted on 17 July 2019

Why our Finance for Freelancers workshop is different

Tax buttons on calculator

In the run-up to this month’s Finance for Freelancers workshop in London (book here!), I saw an interesting comment on Facebook under BECTU’s ad for the course.

The suggestion was that other organisations run free courses on tax, etc., so why bother with ours.


Posted on 08 July 2019

Video demo: Monthly budget planner for freelancers

Ever wanted to know how much you have to work?

It always amazes me how few people ask themselves this question, but it’s important to set yourself a target. This gives you something to aim for, and should also stop you overworking.


Posted on 28 June 2019

Video demo: Payslip record for PAYE freelancers

Keeping track of payslips is a bore. This is especially true if you’re the kind of freelancer who moves around a lot, and has bits and pieces of work with lots of different employers.

I’ve devised a very simple spreadsheet which collects all your payslip info for the whole tax year in one place.


Posted on 28 June 2019

Making Tax Digital – FreeAgent interview

Making Tax Digital (MTD) is a hot topic on our courses at the moment.

Under current plans, from April 2021 every business, including sole traders, will have to use special software to report turnover and business expenses every quarter. So that means as they go along, as opposed to all at once at the end of the tax year.

This is a big change, and HMRC seems very keen to push ahead with this project, in spite of everything else that’s going on in the country.

At the 2019 BECTU Freelancers’ Fair in London I caught up with FreeAgent, one of many software providers trying to corner the freelancer market once MTD is compulsory.

I asked Matt Perkins from FreeAgent about the cost, whether software will replace accountants, and how on earth we choose which software to buy.


Posted on 24 June 2019

Pensions Dashboard? Not much dash. Lots of bored.

Keep your eyes on the Rudd

I’ve been getting a lot of questions recently about pensions. Not from ancient people like me, but from young freelancers starting out on their career.

This never used to happen. Savings were never on the mind of people in their 20s, fresh out of college and excited about finding work.


Posted on 05 April 2019

End to late payment problems?

Pay On Time logo

The Spring Statement by the Chancellor got rather overlooked yesterday, what with the government falling apart a bit.

It’s worth picking up on one thing though. There seems to be a concerted effort to stop companies paying late for work completed.


Posted on 14 March 2019